Lo Duca: Can the Yankees Get to Boston’s Bullpen Early in Game 3?
USA Today Sports. Nathan Eovaldi, Luis Severino
Betting odds: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
- Red Sox moneyline: +160
- Yankees moneyline: -180
- Over/Under: 8.5 (-105/-115)
- First pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET
- Channel: TBS
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The Yankees came away from Boston with a split and are now favorites to win the series against the Red Sox. You could definitely make the argument that Boston is lucky that it lost only one of the first two games, but that’s just spilled milk.
Game 3 will feature a pitching matchup between two very live arms. Luis Severino will go for the Yankees while Nate Eovaldi will toe the rubber for Alex Cora’s Red Sox.
Severino comes into this one off a decent performance in the wild-card game against the A’s. The 24-year-old was effectively wild, giving up two hits, four walks and striking out seven in four scoreless innings.
Aaron Boone will be hoping for a longer outing from Severino, who posted a 3.39 ERA, 3.10 xFIP and 10.35 K/9 in 191.1 innings in 2018, on Monday night.
Eovaldi is a true power pitcher who relies heavily on his four-seam fastball, which hits 100 mph on the radar gun, and his cutter. The 28-year-old split his season between Tampa Bay and Boston, posting a 3.81 ERA, 3.67 xFIP and 8.19 K/9 in 111 innings pitched this season.
Both of these starters have the arsenal to dominate a lineup, but that’s not what I’m focusing on for Monday’s game.
This series has already shown us that the best path to victory for the Yankees is through the Red Sox bullpen. If Eovaldi stumbles early, Boston is in big trouble. Even if Eovaldi doesn’t sputter, Cora will need his relievers to do some heavy lifting because the veteran right-hander doesn’t go deep into games.
Eovaldi has been battling injuries his whole career, so the Red Sox seemed to handle him with a lot of caution down the stretch. In fact, the former Yankee hasn’t thrown more than 90 pitches in an outing since Aug. 4 — when he threw 93 in eight dominant innings against the Yankees at home.
Another reason I don’t think Eovaldi will last that long is that this will be the third time he is facing the Yankees since Sept. 18. They know his stuff — he’s also a former Ray — so they should have a good game plan on how to drive his pitch count up and get into the bullpen.
The thing that stuck out to me most about Severino’s start against the A’s last week was how often he was going to his secondary pitches. The strategy worked to an extent, as he kept the Athletics off the scoreboard, but he also struggled with his control.
This is a really tough matchup for Severino. The Red Sox led the MLB in OPS (.817) and wOBA (.349) against right-handed pitching this season, so I expect they’ll be able to scratch out a few runs before having to deal with the Yankees’ bullpen.
The Yankees put up much better numbers against southpaws, but this lineup can beat you up. That’s especially true when Gary Sanchez is locked in, and it looks like the 25-year-old catcher is on song right now.
In an interesting note, the total for the first two games of this series closed at 8 and 9, respectively. The bookies called for 17 runs to be scored, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen so far.
I think this game has a good chance of getting to the nine-run mark, so I see value on the over and that’s what I’m playing tonight.
The Bet: Over 8.5 (-101)
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.